Now Playing: Dr. Michael Lill helped develop the bloodless transplant
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Description: John has multiple myeloma which is cancer of the plasma cells. He
needed blood transfusions and a stem cell transplant to survive, but
it goes against his religious beliefs.
The couple turned to Dr.
Michael Lill, a self-described atheist who helped develop the
Before the transplant, the patient takes
hormones to stimulate red blood cell growth. The goal is to get the
red cell count high enough so blood isnt needed during the
Dr. Lill promises not to give the patients blood, even
in an emergency. The procedure has worked for 25 people, but one
patient died during the treatment.
Dr. Lill hopes the procedure
prompts doctors to find new ways to conserve blood for all
I think its probably beneficial for people to lose as
little blood as possible during their hospital stay, said Dr. Lill.